Chinpeji: Entering the Tram Era, Volvo Adhere to Safety, Health and Sustainability
The traditional forces are trying to turn around, and the new forces have survived the dawn and ushered in the dawn. Today’s electric revolution has entered an era of competition…
Some people say that “confrontation”, “compromise”, “reconciliation” and “advance together” will be the general trend of the relationship and development between tradition and new forces in the future. But as far as the current historical node is concerned, “confrontation” is still the main theme surrounding the two major forces. It has to be said that in the current stage of the duel, the situation of traditional car companies is embarrassing.
Qin Peiji, President of Volvo Cars Greater China Sales Company
“In the era of electrification, brand building is difficult. As a traditional enterprise with nearly a hundred years of brand history, the Volvo brand may feel that the attributes of trams are not strong. “Traditional car companies.” Said Qin Peiji, President of Volvo Cars Greater China Sales Company.
For traditional car companies, it is difficult to reverse the systems, brand tonality, marketing and sales models that have been established for decades or even nearly a century. However, against the backdrop of emerging companies, the aura of traditional car manufacturers has dimmed. Not a lot.
However, is this “gloom” a real state, or is it just a sign that traditional car companies are gaining momentum at this stage? Facing the aggressive pace of new car companies, as the world’s first car brand that has clearly announced that it will fully enter the era of electrification, how should Volvo deal with itself? How is Volvo’s current performance on the new energy track? Through this exclusive interview with President Qin, the answers to these questions have been presented more clearly.
How do you view the “slowness” at this stage?
“The new forces always believe that the only thing that can’t be broken is fast, but we always stick to our own system framework.” Chin Peiji said.
So, what is the system framework that traditional enterprises insist on, and what is the significance?
Previously, through the communication between the author and many traditional OEMs, we found that everyone was emphasizing the influence of the “test” link on the product rhythm. The early test link seemed lengthy, but one of them was indispensable, because the most basic safety of the vehicle was to be guaranteed. .
Qin Peiji also mentioned this point: “Traditional luxury brands insist that the vehicle itself must pass a large number of tests, and it is unwilling to mass-produce it if it is not mature. We are also unwilling to go offline if there are a few flaws in many things. We must follow the process. , this makes sense, because the car itself has changed in driving mode and the software is used more, people are still sitting in the car, and they still have to run to 120 at high speeds. So these tests are still required, and even more complicated As for safety and reliability testing, Volvo is known for its high standards. When others use 65 kilometers per hour for crash tests, Volvo uses 80 kilometers for testing; others use 25 degrees Celsius for indoor air testing. At that time, Volvo used a high temperature of 65 degrees Celsius to do it. In the eyes of others, safety is a standard. In Volvo’s view, safety is a kind of belief.
“Some companies can sell well in Europe, or sell well in the United States. What they pursue is the system. I think I still believe in a trustworthy system to ensure the development of the company, so it is not a matter of who is right or who is wrong. “Chinpeji said.
In the current Chinese market, from the perspective of the external environment, new energy has just started, and it is logical for new car companies to seize the market. It should be said that this is reasonable and national conditions.
In addition to these factors, Chinpeiji also mentioned the crucial point that “(new force brands) cannot IPO without new models. I understand that this is a time of life and death.”
Indeed, in the eyes of the ruthless capital market, today’s development achievements determine their expectations for the future of the company. Whether it can be listed is too important for new car companies that urgently need “blood transfusion”. We have seen that following the successful landing of “Wei Xiaoli”, several models including Weimaraner, Nezha, and Leapang have reported IPO news one after another.
But in Chinpeji’s view, everything will return to rationality in the future. “I think new forces will gradually pursue reliability,” Chin Peiji believes, “there will be harmony in the world in the end. Today’s new energy vehicle market is still dominated by cutting-edge consumers, and cutting-edge consumers must like high technology, but When mainstream consumers start to turn to new energy vehicles, demand will begin to return to rationality. The basic points of intelligence, autonomous driving, and cruising range must be grasped.” Chin Peiji said.
According to Chin Peiji, in the next 18 months, Volvo Cars will have 4 new pure electric products.
According to Volvo’s plan, the goal of pure electric products is to account for half of sales in 2025, and to realize the transformation to a pure electric luxury brand in 2030.
The future of driving: Autopilot safer than Tesla
In addition to being the first car company to announce full electrification, Volvo also has another identity-one of the first car companies to develop autonomous driving.
As early as 2012, Volvo launched the first self-driving concept car in history, and in 2015, it was the first to be equipped with an L2-level intelligent driving system on a mass-produced model.
Volvo has its own characteristics and thinking about the future development path of automated driving. Compared with Tesla’s single visual recognition technology route, Volvo’s automatic driving adopts the technology route of lidar + multi-sensor fusion. In the next generation of models, Volvo will be equipped with one of the industry’s longest detection range lidars made by Luminar, and the industry’s most powerful Nvidia Orin chip.
In addition, at this press conference, Volvo also brought the “World Tree” central computing architecture, through the full-stack self-developed technical path, to fully grasp the “soul” of automotive software.
Through the “World Tree” central computing architecture, Volvo will fully integrate the functions of the next-generation models, and through independent learning and OTA online upgrades, this big tree will continue to “grow”, creating a more personalized and more Smart, better travel experience.
In addition, Chinpeji revealed that Volvo’s unsupervised highly automated driving function – Ride Pilot, will first be put on the road in California, USA and will be gradually rolled out globally as regulations allow. “It has not been tested in China yet, but we already have technical reserves. The launch time is nothing more than a question of when it will be released. In addition to autonomous driving, tram safety is also worthy of attention, as well as smart cockpits. We have advanced technical reserves in these three areas ’” Chinpeji said.
Chin Peiji further said: “We have invested in many autonomous driving suppliers. For example, Luminar, the top international supplier of lidar, is invested by Volvo.”
At this year’s Chengdu Auto Show, Volvo brought a new pure electric concept car Concept Recharge and a number of future-oriented technical reserves.
On the front of the roof of the Concept Recharge, there is one of the lidars with the longest detection range in the industry manufactured by Luminar. Under the condition of 10% reflectivity, the detection range reaches 250 meters, helping users to drive at high speed. Perceive the danger in advance and take the brakes; the “panoramic smart cockpit” of the next-generation model is equipped with the world’s leading driver perception system, which can actively recognize the driver’s emotions and needs.
“iCup Scene Engine 2.0” makes machine-machine communication smoother and quickly responds to the needs of every driver and passenger; Volvo Cars is also the first among traditional luxury brands to use a full-stack self-developed BMS on a new pure electric platform The car company of the system, the system includes technologies such as preventing battery overcharging, advanced direct circuit breaker design, high-voltage rapid power-down after a collision, etc., to give pure electric car owners a “sense of security”.
The last “100 meters”: what changes did Volvo make?
“When you go to the supermarket to buy water, some brands will appear in your mind, because they will be subtly infected in your life.” Chin Peiji said: “The brand promotion effect of direct-sale stores is relatively strong, and the ability to obtain clues is very strong. So our city center stores not only have pure electric models, but also plug-in hybrid and fuel vehicles.”
With the product and technology, the next step is the last “100 meters” for arrival. In fact, many consumers begin to recognize new brands from the sales side. Unlike the traditional 4S store sales model in the past, the automobile stores that can be seen everywhere in supermarkets have narrowed the distance between ordinary consumption and automobile consumption.
It is understood that Volvo is the first brand in the luxury car camp to start direct sales. What is the current operating status?
Qin Peiji said: “We opened 5 stores in Shanghai at the earliest, and now the 6th store has started to be renovated. These 5 stores are relatively mature, and the effect is also obvious. They are in line with the expectations of the year, and even 3 have exceeded expectations, and there are still a lot of intermixed Model orders and fuel vehicle clues. Judging from the operation of these stores, it has completely exceeded expectations, and the dealer’s input and output effects are also very good.”
It is reported that Volvo has set up city center stores in Guangzhou, Beijing, Shenzhen, Chengdu and Hangzhou, among which there are 5 stores in Shenzhen, 2 stores in Hangzhou, 1 store in Guangzhou and 1 store in Chengdu.
“Shanghai’s “proofing” is very successful, and we can replicate this model. Of course, if the store is not managed, it will be out of shape in the future. So we will output a set of management and control of personnel management, training and counseling, including our own “hands-on” proofing as a consultant, Then it operates independently,” Chinpeji said.
Change or stick to it?an inescapable question
It is worth mentioning that when talking about changing the sales model, how to achieve digitalization is an unavoidable topic. Although many traditional luxury brands want to be more direct and offline, how should they balance the operating model of traditional dealers?
Chinpeiji believes that if you want to go further, you must first have stronger digital tools. Usually the problem is the lack of back-end digital tools. For example, if a customer needs service, a traditional app will push a picture or a video, let you check it, and then it’s over. If you do well, there may be an online customer service.
“But the corporate WeChat we want to do is full access, point-to-point, and the backend is directly connected with customer service. For example, the direct sales team now has a corporate WeChat connection, and the entire process of customers purchasing Volvo trams can be completed online.”
He further explained: “This is a large engineering system, and many people need to be connected at the back end. The difficulty of digital tools like this lies in the management of background personnel. The larger the system, the harder it is to transform. Although the establishment of a direct team is the best , but the cost is very high, and the requirements for management capabilities will increase a lot, and it will cause many problems when the scale is large. The dealer model can help you make more contacts, but there are also difficulties. It is very difficult to standardize dealer actions if you have your own ideas.”
It is understood that in terms of digital transformation, Volvo has invested a lot of manpower and material resources to rebuild the digital platform. The Volvo Car app is launched, providing users with more than 50 functions such as car use, car maintenance, and charging.
“Brand, channel construction, and digitalization all have great challenges, even the dealer cooperation model. Although it has only been a year and a half, there is still a debate within us about who should be the main one. We are still trying.” Qin Pei Ji said, “The problem of integration is not a big problem, because our dealer system has been drilled for many years, and we are very strict with him, that is, standardization. I have always said that standardization is the prelude to direct sales. We need to strengthen management of dealers and strengthen standardization. Even if dealers can only achieve 70% or 80% of the product, consumers will have a good perception.”
Of course, traditional car companies will also encounter pain points during the transformation process.
For example, Qin Peiji said that if you want to apply for a city supermarket, you need to go through a long process. The purchase needs to confirm the price and compliance, and finally report to the headquarters for approval. The whole process takes 3 to 4 weeks, and here During this period, the store is likely to be taken away by other brands.
But if you blindly pursue speed without process control, there will also be many problems, such as false price reporting. So this is always a question of how to balance, that is, which one should we pursue, efficiency or systematization?
Chinpeiji said: “Volvo is pursuing efficiency as much as possible under the condition of process compliance. The process must be reviewed within a week. As for whether to open this kind of problem, there is no need for review. This is up to us to decide. As for whether the price is reasonable, we can purchase and establish a framework, and set a range for each urban lot, within the range, no additional approval is required, and efficiency must be pursued.”
Che Yun Summary:
In the future, the battle between established traditional companies and emerging Internet car companies is inevitable. At this stage, the comparison between the two camps is not only the observation and thinking of the current industry, but perhaps the deviation of today’s understanding of the industry may cause It will become the basis for dividing wins and losses in the future.
In the past hundred years, the automobile industry has achieved magnificent development driven by fuel engines. Volvo is undoubtedly a witness and contributor to this history. From the invention of the cage body, the three-point safety seat to the rear-facing child safety seat, Volvo’s “safety” label has become world-renowned. In the era of electrification and intelligence, we have seen Volvo’s transformation and persistence, and we have seen this enterprise respond to the changing variables of the current era with more mature thinking.
In Chinpeji’s words: “Entering the electric car era, Volvo’s insistence on safety, health, and sustainability does not need to be changed. From the era of fuel vehicles to the era of electric cars, these concepts will be accepted by more consumers.”